The Next Adam Lanza Before He Strikes

The New York Times reports today on a unique program going on in Los Angeles that identifies kids who fool around with guns and shrapnel and/or have said they want to shoot up a school.  According to Erica Goode, the program hopes to find these ticking time bombs before they detonate.

They even have nicknames for the kids, calling one "Jared Loughner," after the man who mowed down people in the Colorado theater last year, who was obsessed with guns and killing, staying in touch with his mother to make sure the teen was stable and not showing any signs of committing violence, Goode writes.

Logically enough, many of these kids show the instability or rage or depression that Adam Lanza, the Newtown serial killer who obliterated two first grade classes; Loughner, and others before they commit a crime.

The Los Angeles School Threat Assessment Response Team is one of the most intensive efforts in the country working on picking out those who are drawn to violence, and trying to prevent it, according to Goode.

She adds that the program was started in 2007 by Tony Beliz and his staff at the county mental health department in Los Angeles after the Virginia Tech massacre.

This program is just one of many around the U.S., including the National Crime Prevention Council's "Stopping School Violence," "and Stop Bullying Now," a Hazelden effort, to name just two.

Is all this really doing any good?  Just a few weeks after Newtown another student entered a school and shot and killed four others on the West Coast.

And if you go this website,, you will see a very disturbing map of all the places school shootings occurred last year.

I know it's just a matter of time before the next one (do you even remember how horrified we all were at Columbine?).  It seems so long ago, yawn.  Maybe this is the saddest of all, that we have become used to this horrendous series of events.



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